September the first has always been one of those dates that you don’t look forward to. September the first signifies the end of the summer break and the start of the madness at work. My husband packed his school bag, cleaned his shoes and ironed his shirts ready for this momentous date. Where does the summer go?
Although not returning to teaching this year, September the first was still a date etched into my mind. Throughout August, every time I thought about September the first, I felt those familiar feelings – nervousness, anxiousness, excitement, with a hint of anticipation. The same things I have been feeling for the last 13 years. Only this time, my husband was the only one going back to school.
September the first was the first day of Tykes Tights. The day we opened our virtual doors to the public and invited them in for a browse. The day we started to sell tights for boys. (and quite predictably, the sunniest and warmest day for quite a while!)
What do you do the day your website goes live? As tempting as it is to sit there watching your computer, waiting for that all important message to arrive stating that an order has been made, I just couldn’t do it. My stomach was churning. At least in the classroom, I am in control. Now, I have none. I can’t force people to buy my tights, no matter how many lesson plans I write or how many detention threats I issue! My solution – walk. I packed Toddler Tyke into his buggy and walked. We walked miles! We walked and walked. Well I walked, Toddler Tyke sat. After a play on the swings and slide, we walked some more. In fact we would still be walking had our stomachs not reminded us that lunchtime was around the corner. We walked home.
The feeling you get when that very first order is made is fantastic! Similar to the feeling you get when you have spent half a lesson explaining something over and over and the child suddenly ‘gets’ it. Within seconds of the order coming through, I was printing off an invoice and packaging it up. After lunch, we walked. We walked the 2 miles to the post office and back. I had to send off my first order. Very important to give speedy service to my customers.
September the first wasn’t without its problems. The night before, my wonderful web designer had been up half the night sorting out issues that had arisen at the eleventh hour. I expected teething problems and by gum, have we had some (sorry Jodie!). I am still learning.
I may not have returned to the classroom this year, but with the learning curve I am currently on, I am definitely back at school.